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Dear Canadian Immigrant

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Make eye contact with me, now and on October 23rd, 2021.

Recently, I was at Save on Foods in my area to buy a few things. As I made my way in, I spotted the security guy. He looked like me — my skin color.

Now, I am not sure if he is Nigerian, from another African country, a Jamaican or a similar country, but I sensed that kindred spirit and I looked at him straight in the eyes, trying to make eye contact.

He looked away.

Usually, I get chatty with folks as much as my introvertish spirit allows when I have the chance — in virtual meetings, in cabs, out on the walk, wherever. Dapo is an introvert?! Don’t worry if that surprises you, even my wife of 17 years disagrees and insists I am an extrovert because my type confuses everyone, so you’re not alone!

Mostly, I am just curious about people’s immigration and integration journey and always out to uncover anything that can be of help for the next immigrant.

But my battery gets depleted slowly over time and I need to withdraw into myself through reading, being alone or going on a solo walk in order to recharge. It takes about two hours of solo time for me to get back up. Yes, I am fast charge. Lol.

But back to my security guard brother at Save on Foods.

On my way out of the store, I looked in his direction again wanting to say hello — and once again, he looked away.

I could feel him. It appears to me that he was ashamed of what he CURRENTLY does to earn a living.

And it’s why I am here.

If you’re in a similar role, please don’t be ashamed. Keep your head high and stand proud. There is dignity in labor.

Perhaps your current job is not what you planned for when you left everything behind in your country of birth in search of the Canadian dream but don’t worry, everything will be alright.

I used to work at Safeway where I earned $13.23 per hour (night bonus included) and it was painful.

But the biggest lesson I learned through it all is this — if where you are does not look like where you dreamed of being, then it is temporary.

And you don’t need to have all the answers or have it all figured out before things can work out.

There are three things you can, however, do RIGHT NOW in spite of your unique and perhaps disappointing situation:
1. Make eye contact with people — no matter who and no matter what.
2. Hold on to the mental image of the successful you that you have.
3. Attend Thrive Conference 2021 (FREE tickets here)

At the conference, we will be discussing how you can evolve your career in a way that helps you THRIVE RIGHT NOW and also THRIVE IN THE FUTURE.

Get FREE tickets to Thrive Conference 2021 happening on October 23rd here.

Invite others to the 1 — day event.

Follow The Immigrant Life on LinkedIn.


Written by Dapo Bankole.
Follow Dapo on LinkedIn

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